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Extensive Review of the Best GPS Devices for Your Car

written by: Kristina Dems•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 1/30/2011

“What is the best GPS for my car?" you ask. The simple answer to that is the device that offers the best directions and most useful information about traffic condition. A GPS device may also have cool features, but not all of them are necessary.

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    Introduction

    If you're wondering “what is the best GPS for my car?", it can be a daunting process to find the answer since there are a host of GPS devices out there. Your main concern, of course, is the level of detail, the ease of use and the quality of directions is given to you by the device. Additional features like optional information about surrounding establishments and cool graphics take a backseat to the actual purpose of buying a GPS device, which is to get to your destination as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

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    Garmin Nuvi 205W

    Garmin Nuvi 205W For people who like sleek and compact devices, the Garmin Nuvi 205W is the perfect GPS device for cars. Even with a compact design, it still features a large widescreen display that offers brilliant colors and a bright view of map details, photos, and driving directions. By default, it offers turn-by-turn driving directions featuring millions of possible destinations and maps located in different parts of Europe, the U.S., and Canada. It is also capable of using MSN Direct services, so if you are more comfortable with the data provided by that service, you are free to use it with the Nuvi 205W, available at Amazon.com for $84.

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    Garmin Nuvi 3790T

    Garmin Nuvi 3790T Garmin Nuvi 3790T offers a wide range of helpful features like voice-activated navigation, multi-touch glass display, myTrends, trafficTrends, nüRoute technology, lane assist with junction view, 3D building and terrain view, and hands-free calling compatibility. You are also treated with subscription-free traffic alerts. With this suite of features at your disposal, the Nüvi 3790T is the ultimate companion on the road because it offers easy navigation without requiring too much effort from you, which is a very important thing--especially if the one doing the navigating is also the one doing the driving. Its thin design also makes it visually appealing as well as easy to handle. Amazon lists it at $372.

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    Motonav TN765t

    Motorola Motonav TN765T 5.1-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator Its large display makes the Motonav TN765t a great navigation companion whether you have company in the car or if you are driving alone. Hands-free calling and voice-activated navigation also make the whole navigation and communication process easy and safe. This GPS device does not just help you get to where you are headed in the most efficient manner, it also gives you suggestions on where you could visit on the way to your destination by providing information about different locations around you as you go along the road. Another strength for this navigation tool is the option to view streaming traffic, which means you will always have access to live information about traffic conditions, giving you a clearer view of what route you should take. Buy it for $136 from Amazon.

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    Magellan RoadMate 1700

    Magellan Roadmate 1700 Not only does the Magellan RoadMate provide useful information about road conditions and efficient directions that you can take to reach a certain destination, it also allows you to bookmark places. This gives you an easier time in navigating toward the places you usually go to, especially if you are not really familiar with the place but you are totally in love with it. The AAA TourBook feature gives you insight on the best places to eat, shop, sleep and be entertained in your current location. Like the Motonav above, this unit sells for $136 on Amazon.

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    TomTom XL 340 S

    TomTom XL 340 S One of the products that you should consider when you are asking yourself “What is the best GPS for my car?" is the TomTom XL 340 S. One of the reasons for this is its accurate driving directions that give you actual names of streets rather than general directions when turning. Viewing the display screen is also a pleasant experience since it offers a large display. It is easy to use even with advanced features like lane guidance and text-to-speech operations. Amazon sells it for less than the manufacturer's suggested retail price.

    Images courtesy of Amazon.com